10 Questions with ... Jason Keller
August 11, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WIZN/Burlington, VT (overnights/weekends), WQBK "The Edge"/Albany, NY (middays), WHRL/Albany, NY, (mornings/middays), WGY/Albany, NY (late-afternoon drive host), and WEQX/Manchester, VT (afternoons/production/imaging)
1. How did you become interested in radio?
My parents gave me a microphone to play with when I was a little kid, and it started my love of sound. After taking a full year to get up the nerve up to join the college radio station (SUNY Plattsburgh), I finally did it and I was ready to make my dream happen.
2. After spending several years in the Albany Radio market, what led you to WEQX?
Originally it was Amber Bouchard (now at Caroline Records), this last time around it was Jeff Morad. I originally turned down a full-time opportunity after having some fun doing fill-in work. I loved EQX, but I felt the need to try some different career paths, and I was just starting grad school as well. At the time I was contacted to work at EQX (again), I was working in a very different field. I listened to a voicemail from Jeff MORAD, while I was working, and I had a pretty good idea why he was calling. Amber was leaving EQX to pursue new opportunities, and Jeff was taking over as PD. I looked around at my current job and thought, "Ya know...I could leave this place and go to EQX." I smiled to myself and it just felt right.
3. What do you love most about working at an independent Alternative station?
The autonomy. If we find a song that we all believe in, it can go on-air almost immediately. Plus, we have a fully functioning "nap room" - that's certainly different.
4. How would you describe yourself as an on-air personality?
I believe I have a way of describing things in a thoughtful, humorous, and succinct manner.
5. Tell us about why you only use your last name on-air?
For so many years, I have been called by my last name. It always seemed to have been said in a light hearted way when someone called me Keller; so I've just gone with it on-air. Even now my Dad jokingly refers to me as Keller, and he was Keller long before me.
6. Other than using your last name, what else make your afternoon show unique?
I believe it's my style of phoners, interviews, and interaction with other staff members. When it comes to artist interviews, I always take the perspective that I know more about the person I'm interviewing than they know about me. I engage them very quickly, and create an intelligent dialogue; I believe that's what sets an immediate rapport. I do the same with callers; everybody is interesting at the core, I think you just have to guide them a bit. When they sound good, you sound good.
7. How do you prep for your show?
At EQX, I'm confident that our audience wants to know something compelling about the artists we play, so I always try and dig for prep on that topic. Some of that info comes from sources available to all of us, and other info is right from the interviews and interactions I have with the artists. I also have a bit of an inner compass that steers me on most breaks: I always think, is this something that I'd actually say in front of someone? Is it interesting to me? Can I lampoon this person in the news without being cheap about it? If I deep down believe the commentary I'm about to offer is true, unique, fun or informative - I say it.
8. What's the story on why you wearing a tie on your bio photo?
Ahhh yes...the EQX jock bio page. I'm wearing a black long sleeve shirt (rolled up), a tie, and I'm sitting on some steps behind an industrial warehouse. This picture was taken right when I was a few years deep into the business world, and I was soon on my way to going to a more "casually dressed" EQX. At that time, I think my mindset was that rolled up sleeves gave me a "loose" look even though I had on a tie. It really looks more like I'm a grocery store manager on a 15 minute smoke break.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Buying coffee. Not making coffee. I also like going to the bank for the same reason. I think I need short, pleasant, non-controversial interactions like that.
10. What would surprise people about you?
I follow quite closely the stock market, and local, national and global financial news. I'm also always keeping track of various interest rates, mutual funds and exchange traded funds.
What are your hobbies?
Camping, and I enjoy custom framing photos and pieces of art; even at EQX when we get a great concert poster, or a personalized signed piece from a band we play - I gladly take on the project of framing it for the radio station.
Last non-industry job?
Marketing & Media Associate for a large law firm.
First record ever purchased?
Blondie "Heart of Glass"
Lou Rawls in Atlantic City - I was nine and my parents made me go.
Favorite band of all-time?
I will always stand by LIVE, KISS (pre-Asylum) and The Decemberists. I know...you asked for one. Thank you for indulging me.